In 1974, Frank Page and his wife and kids remodeled a shoe repair store at the end of their street, turning it into a corner ice cream parlor. Frank has been experimenting with ice cream by sweetening it with honey instead of sugar. The family opened their first Honey Hut Ice Cream store in Cleveland, Ohio and now they have five locations selling dozens of honey-based flavors.
Their store logo was a giant bee holding a dripping double-scoop ice cream cone. The bee logo signs were carved from wood boards about four feet tall and painted with bright pastel colors. In my area, the Parma, Ohio store is located by a city park entrance and boasted one of those signs. People line up by the dozens on hot summer nights and after ball games to be refreshed by their favorite frozen desserts.
Honey Hut made local and national news when, in May 2021, President Joe Biden made a quick stop at the original store to have some ice cream before his meeting in downtown Cleveland. Creative, fun, and life-giving. That is the legacy of owner Frank Page who recently passed away. The imaginative use of his time and talents lives on through the family business that is well-known in Cleveland.
Unfortunately to the community’s dismay, in 2016 vandals came at night and stole the hand-painted signature bee sign in front of the Parma store. What in the world would someone do with that sign? Keep it in their garage like a trophy? The owners had to replace it with a life-sized picture of the sign protected behind plexiglass. Although the same bee logo was re-mounted in front of the store, it lacked the charm of the original hand-painted wooden sign.
More recently, vandals drove their vehicles through a newly graded field at the other end of the same park, plowing up newly sown grass with deep muddy ruts from their tires. Again, this brought pointless destruction to the community. Undoubtedly, people are creative. We always have new ideas popping up in our heads. Some of these ideas and impulses are good, while others are not, as noted in this story.
These examples of senseless damage prove why people should learn their spiritual gifts and employ them with the extra time and energy they have. God gives every person talents and gifts that perfectly suit us. When we operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, then we add to the common good instead of following wrong impulses that cause trouble. Scripture says that we have an affinity for wrong that must be resisted and overcome. “I want to do good, but I can’t… For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish.” (Romans 7:19)
Spiritual gifts were designed by God to re-direct those impulses and replace them with a much better use of our time. “However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.” (1 Corinthians 7:7) The gifts mentioned in scripture are divinely powered to accomplish much good, more than we could do naturally on our own. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit…and there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12: 4-7)
We must ask God to ignite our interest in the particular gift that He has for us. He will move us into Spirit-lead activities that are satisfying to us, even better than eating Honey Hut ice cream, because the results will be beneficial for the common good.